ECON 300

Welcome to the homepage for ECON 300, Social, Economic, and Financial Networks. Below you will find links to all class lectures once they are available, as well as some relevant videos and information I’ve created or pulled together from the Internet. If you have anything you think would be worth adding, please let me know. You can find me in my office on:  Tuesday 12:30pm-3:00pm; Thursday 12:30pm-3:00pm; and online Wednesday between 2pm-3pm. Office hours are occasionally rescheduled due to conflicts. Please try to make an appointment before coming by.



Christakis, Nicholas A. and James H. Fowler. 2011. “Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives-How Your Friends’ Friends’ Friends Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do.” Paperback. Back Bay Books: New York. (ISBN 0316036137)

Easley, David and Jon Kleinberg. 2010. “Networks, Crowds, and Markets: Reasoning About a Highly Connected World.” Cambridge University Press: New York. (ISBN 9780521195331)

Kadushin, Charles. 2012. “Understanding Social Networks: Theories, Concepts, and Findings.” Oxford University Press: New York. (ISBN 9780195379471)

Watts, Duncan J. 2003. “Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age.” W.W. Norton & Company: New York. (ISBN9780393325423)


Material for each lecture and quiz will be listed below. 

Lecture 1Introduction (and now try this – Lecture 1 Papers “pw“)

  • Christakis & Fowler (3-32): In the Thick of It
  • Kadushin (3-12): Introduction
  • Watts (13-42): The Connected Age
  • Milgram: “The Small-World Problem” (1967)
  • Travers & Milgram: An Experimental Study of the Small-World Problem (1969)
  • Granovetter: The Strength of Weak Ties (1973)
  • Mathematica: Exercise Notes

Lecture 2What does this have to do with economics?

  • Watts (43-68): The Origins of  “New” Science
  • Kirman: “Whom or What Does the Representative Agent Represent?” (1992)
  • Hartley: “The Orgins of the Representative Agent” (1996)
  • Tesfatsion: “Introductory Notes on Rational Expectations” (2016)
  • Williamson: “Notes on Macroeconomic Theory” (1999)
  • Romer: “The Trouble with Macroeconomics” (2016), An update

Lecture 3: Small Worlds (“pw“)

  • Watts (69-100): Small Worlds
  • Kadushin (108-134): The Small World, Circles, and Communities
  • Easley and Kleinberg (Ch 20): The Small-World Phenomenon
  • Watts: “Network Dynamics and the Small-World Phenomenon” (1999) – α model
  • Newman: “Models of the Small World” (2000)
    • Kogut & Walker: “The Small World of Germany and the Duration of National Networks” (2001)
  • Parker on Methodological Individualism v. Methodological Holism
  • Watts-Strogatz Matlab code – put in your working directory

Lecture 4: Love, Health, and Disease (“pw“)

Relative standing
  • Jin et al.:  “Preliminary Evidence Regarding the Hypothesis That the Sex Ratio at Sexual Maturity May Affect Longevity in Men” (2010)
  • Greenwood et al.: “Marry Your Like: Assortative Mating and Income Inequality”
    • Economist: “Sex, brains, and inequality” (2014)
    • Brookings: “Opposites Don’t Attract: Assortative Mating and Social Mobility” (2014)
  • Angrist: “How do Sex Ratios Affect Marriage and Labor Markets? Evidence from America’s Second Generation” (2002)

Lecture 5: Economics & Finance: Part I (“pw“)

Lecture 6: Economics & Finance: Part II (“pw“) same readings

General Reading
Bitcoin & Blockchain
Bubbles & Herding

Lecture 7: Management & Production (“pw“) same readings

General Reading
Firm Structure
Technology Adoption

Lecture 8: Financial Networks (“pw“)

General Reading
Banking Networks
Systemic Risk and Contagion

Lecture 9: Contagion (“pw“)